Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I think this says it best.

I purchased the book, "The Essential Green You," by Deirdre Green, and she has an interesting paragraph concerning hair relaxers and straighteners. This post isn't to make anyone feel bad for using these chemicals, but I hope that it at least makes you think.

If you wouldn't pour Drano on your head, don't use any hair-relaxing product that contains lye, otherwise known as sodium hydroxide. It's the same powerful alkaline chemical used in drain cleaners to dissolve clumps of hair and other gunk clogging your pipes. Even in lower doses, lye can [dramatically] weaken your hair follicles, not to mention irritate your scalp; dry, crack and burn your skin; cause irreversible baldness; and make you go blind. Many "no lye" formulas have [now] been introduced, but they aren't necessarily better--the calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonoate replacing it are still quite caustic and likely to cause skin irritation and hair breakage.

I wanted to make sure I mention that sodium hydroxide in higher concentrations, along with other chemicals used in relaxing the hair, is what she's focusing on. There are many other products out there that use sodium hydroxide to normalize the pH levels of products(likely less than 1% of the whole formula) and it's also used in hot-processed soaps. But with the latter, shampoo/body bar users need to be aware of how the lye in these bars can potentially RAISE the pH, raising/roughening the cuticles. Factor in hard water and mineral deposits FROM that water, and you can experience tangling and other issues.

I know, I know. Always something, right? Just some more food for thought. Eat it up!

Natural Urbanista


Maed2Proser said...

This is an awesome post! This is the kind of thought provoking, real life in-yo-face type of information that should be all over the place. Thanks for posting this!

Kicha said...

That is alot of food for thought. Makes you wonder why we do it. Hurting ourselves to attain an unnatural look instead of going for the natural. And yes, I'm guilty of it. I'm newly BC'd and loving it. So nice to get to know my hair.

And thanks so much for your site -- you do amazing work!

KP said...

Thank you, ladies! And yes, it DOES make you wonder why many of us continue to relax. The easiest answer is most just don't know or care to understand what is REALLY in those products. We see the ingredients, but don't care because we want straight matter HOW weak, damaged, and a hot mess it looks.

Thank goodness many of us ARE informed, and fortunate enough in that we can share this knowledge with others.